Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Read, William (1795?-1866)

READ, WILLIAM (1795?–1866), Irish verse-writer, born in co. Down about 1795, became at an early age a contributor of poems to the first numbers of the ‘Literary Gazette,’ under the signature of ‘Eustace.’ The editor, William Jerdan [q. v.], formed a high opinion of him. In 1818 he published at Belfast a lament on the death of Princess Charlotte, and ‘The Hill of Caves and other Poems,’ which was well received. His next volume appeared anonymously in London in 1821, with the title of ‘Rouge et Noir, a Poem in Six Cantos, Versailles, and other Poems.’ The principal poem is a vigorous denunciation of gambling, and ‘Versailles’ has some excellent descriptive passages. The only other work by Read is ‘Sketches from Dover Castle, Julian and Francesca, Rouge et Noir, &c.,’ 1859. During his later years Read resided at Tullychin, co. Down, and was lieutenant-colonel commanding the North Down rifles. He died on 26 Dec. 1866.

[O'Donoghue's Poets of Ireland, p. 211; Jerdan's Autobiography, ii. 81, iii. 277.]

D. J. O'D.